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Orillia cyclist pulls off daunting, tiring Mount Everest-like feat

Ava Holmgren rode up steep 2.3-kilometre hill 44 times in under 14 hours, starting in the dark and ending in the dark, to conquer challenge

Ava Holmgren, 15, is an avid cyclist who missed the thrill of competition in the COVID-19 era.

So, in the absence of racing events this summer, she decided to tackle a unique - and daunting - cycling challenge.

Basically, she climbed the same elevation as Mount Everest (8,848 metres) on her bicycle all in one day. She completed this Monday on Scenic Caves Road in Collingwood.

She had to complete a total of 44 treks up the 2.3-kilometre climb. It's a climb most cyclists find difficult to do once as it is quite steep with an average gradient of 8.3%.

The determined athlete completed the challenge in under 14 hours, starting and finishing in the dark.

She didn't do it alone - at least not at the beginning. Holmgrent started out with teammates from the Hardwood Next Wave cycling team, including twin sister Isabella Holmgren (who completed 20 laps) in addition to Kateyln Walcroft and Ben Sweet, who each completed 23 laps on the gruelling hill.

Holmgren, a student at Ecole Secondaire Catholique Nouvelle Alliance in Barrie, is the first female cyclist of any age to have ‘Everested’ Scenic Caves Road, says her mom, Lisa.

"She is determined with a mental fortitude and focus that drives her to reach her goals," said Lisa Holmgren.

Holmgren is a member of the high performance mountain biking team with Ontario Cycling and also swims competitively with the Orillia Channel Cats.




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Dave Dawson

About the Author: Dave Dawson

Dave Dawson is community editor of OrilliaMatters.com
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